Prepared Text for Board Meeting
Marc A. Schare
Having gone through the modifications to the
Governorís education proposal, tonight, I want to discuss items of concern in
the House substitute for HB1, the
First, letís make some assumptions. These concerns
address the coming biennium only. While the House plans a 10 year phase-in, it
is fair to say that the next 4 legislatures and the next two governors will
tweak or rewrite the plan in the years ahead, although it is worth noting that according
to the Legislative Service Commission, in order to pay for the plan, even in
the next biennium, the state would have to raise income taxes by 24% or raise
sales taxes by 37%, and it is further worth noting that the likelihood of our
school district getting even a small piece of those funds is pretty small.
Here are some specific concerns vis-a-vis the substitute HB1 in the upcoming biennium.
2) The elimination of the ability to charge for all day kindergarten would cost us between $750K and a million dollars a year, plus, we would have to reconfigure buildings to comply with the mandate. Rep. Carney assured us today that this would be removed from the bill. Time will tell.
3) The House Bill removes the sanctions against school districts who do not comply with the Evidence Based Model. Lacking these, I'm curious what our motivation would be to comply. There is no real "evidence" that a 15-1 (or 19-
4) The House Bill removes our ability to
5) A back of the napkin calculation shows that for each new day required in the school calendar, it will cost us around $250K for teachers alone. The bill isn't clear when the initial increment of 2 additional days would come. It hints that it would be at the end of our existing collective bargaining agreement. If it does come in this biennium, however, that's $500K that we don't have for 2 additional days that we don't need, especially if the 5 calamity days are removed. Note that if you remove the calamity days, we get back up to 5 instructional days per year that we are already paying for, accomplishing to Governorís objectives for this biennium with a much smaller incremental expense.
I sent a note detailing some of these concerns to Rep. Bacon as well, but according to Rep. Carney, there is little opportunity to amend the bill before it gets to the Senate. His advice is that our district would be best served by passing a resolution detailing those issues where we can reach consensus. In addition, I suggest meeting with both Senator Hughes and Senator Goodman as the bill makes its way to the Senate. The final result will doubtless be crafted during a conference committee in late May or June.